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Open Access Toolkit: NHMRC, ARC, NIH and Welcome Trust Policies

General Questions

What if my publication is already available in an open access journal, or the article itself has been made open access?

In this case, the article itself does not need to submitted to the UWA Profiles and Research Repository, but the full citation metadata (journal title, authors, etc.) must still be available in the Repository, with a link to the site where the openly accessible version is available.

What happens once my publication is in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository?

UWA research publications in the Repository are distributed globally and searchable on the Web. The Repository is indexed by Google, OAIster and Trove. This exposure can increase the impact of your research by making it more visible and easier to access.

What if my publisher will not allow me to submit a published version or post-print to the Repository?

You will need to check the conditions of your Grant. Some Grant funders will still permit you to publish in a journal that will not allow you to provide an OA copy, but you will need to state these contractual restrictions in the final report. Some funders however, will not accept this (The Welcome Trust will withhold the final 10% of the grant money and withhold further grants if the article is not made OA within 6 months).

ARC and NHMRC Policy on the Dissemination of Research Findings

The overarching aim of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australian Research Council's (ARC) policies is to ensure that the findings of publicly funded research are made available to the wider public as soon as possible.

Both policies require publications arising from an ARC or NHMRC supported research project to be deposited into an open access institutional repository within a twelve month period from the date of publication.

  • The Chief Investigator (CI) on the grant is responsible for ensuring compliance.
  • If the copyright/licence agreement for the publication does not allow it to be made available within twelve months, it needs to be made available as soon as possible after that date. If the publisher never allows the publication to be made available this information must be provided at the time of the Final Report submission. 

All researchers with an ARC grant should familiarise themselves with the details of the ARC policy.

All researchers with an NHMRC grant should familiarise themselves with the details of the NHMRC policy, which is structured in an easy to read question and answer format.

ARC & NHMRC Mandates

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy

The NIH Public Access Policy requires:

  • scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication;
  • that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication; and
  • that investigators include evidence of compliance in all NIH applications and reports.

The NIH strongly recommends that you check that publishers will allow you to deposit into PubMed Central before signing any agreement.

When submitting subsequent applications, proposals or reports to the NIH they must include the PubMed Central ID number (PMCID) when citing applicable papers. Note that the PMCID is different to the PubMed ID number (PMID).

For more information see the NIH's Frequently Asked Questions.

Wellcome Trust Open Access Policy

The Wellcome Trust open access policy:

"requires electronic copies of any research papers that have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and are supported in whole or in part by Wellcome Trust funding, to be made available through PubMed Central and UK PubMed Central as soon as possible and in any event within six months of the journal publisher's official date of final publication."

The Wellcome Trust supports researchers to publish in open access publications by providing a scheme of funding to cover publishing charges. Where authors use this scheme, they are required to license research papers under a Creative Common Attribution licence (CC-BY).

Where authors are non-compliant with this policy, 10% of the total granted funds will be withheld and no further grants will be funded.

The Wellcome Trust provides detailed information addressing the process of ensuring these requirements are met on their website and in a guide book (PDF).